French cold-weather magic
This French Lentil Soup is one of our favorite ways to stay warm and cozy in the chilly fall and winter months. French Le Puy green lentils are slowly simmered with fennel, thyme, tarragon, and bay until fragrant and plump. Put on some relaxing music, tear a loaf of your favorite crusty bread as a side, and maybe open a bottle of wine, if you’re so inclined. This soup is simple French cold-weather magic.
What kind of lentils are best to use?
I prefer to use French green lentils, also known as Le Puy green lentils, for this soup. The lentil is distinguishable by their mottled slate gray/green color, their peppery flavor, and their ability to maintain their shape after cooking. If you are unable to source French Le Puy green lentils, a traditional green or brown lentil will be lovely in this soup as well.
What to serve with this French Lentil Soup
I love to serve this soup with a side of rustic bread and salted butter. The bread in the images of this post is a pumpkin sourdough with cranberries and pepitas that I hope to share with you soon, but we also love a loaf of classic sourdough, a torn baguette, or a fluffy dinner roll if you prefer.
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A cutting board
- A chefs knife
- A kitchen scale (optional)
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- A large soup pot
- A wooden spoon or spatula
- A ladle
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
A note for special diets
This French Lentil Soup is gluten-free and dairy-free and can easily be made friendly for vegetarian and vegan diets by using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
This French Lentil Soup is simple and cozy cold-weather magic. This gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly soup can be ready in 1 hour or less.
- 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil – OR – 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fennel (44g), diced small
- 2 cups (200g) green onion, thinly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups (192g) carrots, diced small
- 1 1/4 cup (126g) celery, thinly chopped
- 8 cups (64oz) chicken broth – OR – vegetable broth (if keeping vegetarian/vegan)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (I love this fire-roasted variety, but you can use traditional as well)
- 1 1/4 cup (225g) French Le Puy green lentils, rinsed, drained, and picked over (may sub for regular green or brown lentils)
- 1 tbsp fresh fennel leaves
- 2 tsp dried thyme – OR – 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp dried tarragon – or 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- In a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat, add the garlic oil (or olive oil + minced garlic) and the fennel and allow to sautee for about a minute. Then add the green onion, carrots, celery, and sautee for 5-6 minutes, or until the fennel, carrots, and celery begin to soften and brown just slightly.
- Add the chicken broth (or vegetable broth), diced tomatoes, lentils, fennel leaves, thyme, tarragon, bay leaves, and salt, stirring to combine.
- Allow the soup to come to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, stir the soup, and cover. You’ll want the soup to maintain a steady simmer after boiling for 35 minutes while covered, so adjust the heat lower if needed.
- After 35 minutes, remove the bay leaves and taste for salt. Adjust if needed. The lentils should be nicely tender at this point. Serve warm.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 284
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 484 mg
- Fat: 6 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 32 g
- Fiber: 10 g
- Protein: 17 g
- Cholesterol: 15 mg
Keywords: French Lentil Soup